India’s coal production has witnessed a remarkable upswing during the current financial year, according to the latest figures. From the beginning of the fiscal year until October 21, 2023, coal production in the country has shown a significant growth of 12.73% compared to the same period in the previous year.
The statistics reveal that various sectors of the coal industry have contributed to this impressive growth. Coal India Ltd (CIL) has shown a production growth of 11.80%, while the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) has recorded a growth rate of 8.45%. Furthermore, captive and commercial mines have witnessed remarkable progress, achieving a growth rate of 20.50%.
As of October 21, 2023, the total coal stock in the country stands at 71.35 million tonnes (MT), inclusive of coal at mine pitheads, in transit, and at thermal power plants. This figure represents an 18.05% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year when the total stock was 60.44 MT.
In an additional positive development, coal imports have decreased during this period, from 20.8 MT to 13.5 MT, marking a 35% decline in coal imports for blending purposes compared to the previous year.
The increase in production can be partly attributed to favorable weather conditions after a prolonged rainy spell in coal-producing states during early October. Over the last ten days, total coal production from all sources has exceeded 26.57 lakh tonnes per day, indicating exceptional growth. This surge in production has contributed to the reversal of the trend in coal stocks at thermal power plants. Daily coal supply now exceeds average daily consumption, resulting in a trend of coal stock accretion.
The first half of the year is typically marked by lower production and transportation due to summer and monsoon seasons. As a result, coal stocks at mine pitheads and thermal power plants tend to deplete during H1. The second half of the year is characterized by more favorable production conditions, leading to higher supply than consumption. This results in the buildup of coal stocks at power plants and mine pitheads.
Despite the exceptionally high demand for power, the Ministry of Coal has ensured the availability of coal at all thermal power plants in the country.
To further bolster coal production during the festival season, the Ministry of Coal has devised a strategy involving higher wages for contractual workers. This initiative led to a remarkable production of 21 lakh tonnes of coal by CIL on Maha Astmi, equivalent to a typical working day.